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Phil Jackson has texted Dwight Howard about back issues

Mar 6, 2013, 10:31 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Relationships in the Lakers world are more like that of a Scottish clan than a traditional business. Around the Buss family there are rivalries, alliances and marriages (or pending ones, anyway) with all kinds of power implications. There are not a lot of clear lines of demarcation.

Out of that morass everyone deals with everyone. So it shouldn’t be shocking that Phil Jackson — the coach Jim Buss passed over as coach and the guy engaged to Jeanie Buss — is texting Lakers star Dwight Howard.

Howard said as much before the Thunder thumped the Lakers. Howard told Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com that Jackson has texted him on back issues (via Sulia).

“I’ve had people really just help me out,” Howard said. “Guys like Phil [Jackson], he texts me and he understands how it is to come off back surgery. He just said it takes a full year to recover, so you can’t beat yourself up over the things that have happened this year.”

Howard doesn’t need to beat himself up, Lakers fans will do that for him.

Jackson also is right, which goes back to the debate about whether Howard should have rushed back at the start of the season or sat out for a few months and come back more ready for the rigors of the NBA grind. But that ship has sailed. The Lakers are where they are now.

The only way Howard improves his reputation damaged from the Dwightmare in Orlando followed by this season is to help get Kobe Bryant what he wants — a ring. Winning is the balm. That’s not happening this year, but like Jackson said his back should be healthy next year. And then we’ll see what kind of Lakers team they have assembled (and yes, I think Howard re-signs).

  1. rodge1 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Oh, now I see. So it’s next year that the Lakers will win… I’m so silly. Here I was confused by all the Laker fans this summer talking about winning it all this year easily. So what they meant was NEXT year. Now I get it.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      you are full of it.
      go put on ya BIG boy pants.

      • dannymac17 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        What was he exactly “full of”????

        He is right. Laker fans wanted the banner to be raised even when they didn’t win a single preseason game.

      • cosanostra71 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Lakers fans want a banner raised every year. That is no different than any other fan base. It’s just that the Lakers have been able to raise more banners than most teams, so that desire becomes a bit more of an expectation.

  2. loungefly74 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    you can’t win it every year. to think that would be ridiculous…BUT it feels damn good to know your team has a legit shot just about every year.

  3. BigBeachBall - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Anything could happen… He might decide to become a raptor next year….

    • badintent - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Howard, Gay, DeRozen,Lowdry and Ross. I love it !!!!That team will wax Boston every night. Sucker MC

  4. zacksdad - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Dwight will refuse to sign unless they fire D’Antoni. Dwight has most of the cards and Jimmie will have to make him happy or lose him.

  5. dirtydavis - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Credit for D. Howard. The man is playing a position that demands a lot from your back. Not even a year from having surgery and he is out there playing better than most centers. Mad props

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I had laser surgery to repair both a broken transverse process and clip off the ruptured L5 herniation in my back. I was not in any real shape (even with intense training and strengthening) to play sports at the level I did until about 9 months. Not sure why people expected Dwight to be anything close to his former self until right around now.

  7. acaxton1 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Reblogged this on Basketball Chick Chicago.

  8. manchestermiracle - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    “Howard doesn’t need to beat himself up, Lakers fans will do that for him.”

    Kurt must know a lot of Laker fans that I don’t. The only ones who’ve been ragging on Howard all year are non-Laker fans.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      I live in LA. You listen to sports talk radio here ever? There are plenty. Fair or not, there have been plenty.

      • hoodheisman - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Fortunately most of us don’t have the time to listen to idle chatter on sports talk radio…. especially considering the target audience for sports radio is semi-educated, semi-employed sport fans who think they know more about basketball than they actually do. I’ve got a lot of friends who are Laker fans, and none of us are down on D.Howard. We know that injury takes a year to heal. We’re all looking forward to this offseason when Jeannie forces Jim into another position and Phil takes over as VP of Basketball Operations. Not sure who Phil will bring back on as coach, but it certainly won’t Jim’s guy D’Antoni.

      • Kurt Helin - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        Well, you have time to comment on this site. Do you read the comments here?

  9. lakerwoman - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    You’re right Kurt. Dwight is nearly all sports talk radio in L.A. talks about. With
    lots of frustration. I still say D’Antoni has
    to go. He’s just the wrong coach for this team.

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